Coming off a lackluster 2-2 run at 170 lbs., TUF 1 winner Diego Sanchez made his return to Lightweight at UFC On Fuel TV 8 in March. He faced off against former Pride champion Takanori Gomi, who was on a 2 fight win streak. After 15 minutes of the two going back and forth, Sanchez got the nod from two of the three judges to win a split decision victory.
With his first win in his second run at 155 lbs. under his belt, Sanchez is aiming high for his second fight. On Tuesday's UFC Tonight, Ariel Helwani revealed that Diego has his eyes on three top 10 fighters. If he gets his wish, he'll face Josh Thomson at UFC 164 in August. Thomson made his UFC debut less than a month ago at UFC On Fox 7 with a big TKO win over Nate Diaz.
Apparently aware that a fight with Thomson is an unlikely match, Diego has two other options in mind: Gilbert Melendez and Nate Diaz. There's some history behind a potential Diaz fight as Sanchez owns a decision win over Nate's brother Nick from years ago and Nate needs a rebound fight after losing in his last two outings. Sanchez also said he's willing to fight Nate at either Lightweight or Welterweight.
Melendez also made his UFC debut at UFC On Fox 7 with a decision loss to Lightweight champ Ben Henderson. I'd consider this fight almost as unlikely as the fight with Thomson. Melendez remains a top 5 fighter with his only loss in 5 years coming to the current champ. His next fight will be against a potential contender to start building toward another title run.
UFC 164 is scheduled for August 31. The event will take place at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI.